A week of a Global Health Student | Day 3

Today we are going straight to Thursday as Wednesdays are sports days in the UK, so my classes on  are optional and short-lived.  The class that I have on today is called 'Disease Masterclass' which sounds vastly more intense than it is.  It involves understanding the epidemiology, anthropology, public health impact, and pathology of world-leading diseases which are on a rise.  Every week is dedicated to one particular condition or topic.  This class is assessed via a piece of coursework which is to reflect the 'News and Views' section of Nature magazine regarding a specific article they will assign.

9:30am: Today's topic is vaccinations.  We are breaking down the method in which encapsulated bacterium such as Neisseria meningitidis invade and cause disease in the human body in this first half.  It is intriguing and surprisingly technical which illustrates the diversity found in an MPH course.  Sometimes it is our course focuses on policy making and economics in parallel to molecular and scientific studies.  I would've never assumed this would be the case just by reading the module handbook or syllabus online.

11:00-11:20am: Break time!  It is hard to concentrate for such long stretches of time but luckily a majority of lecturers keep the lesson engaging via the use of Mentimeter which is an online polling system.  During the break, I pour a glass of coffee and eat a cereal or naked bar.

11:20am-12:30pm: After finishing the lecturers, they give us a quick insight into our coming practical this afternoon.  Practicals entail reading through research papers and formulating an argument for or against a particular intervention by debating in teams.  We are arguing for or against the use of the vaccination Bexsero in infants over young adults.

12:30pm-1:30pm: During lunch I go to my favourite spot - the library.  As per usual, I will be working on blogposts or going over coursework.  At the moment, I am focusing on getting all my notes down for a few midterms that were coming up.  I prefer handwritten notes as it allows me to familiarise with the material quicker.

1:30pm-3:30pm: We split up into our appropriate groups and begin formulating an argument for our notion.  The groups are usually about 5 people each.  One great thing about this class is that it forces you to work under strict time crunches.  We have to practice our argument and produce a power point for our points in a short span of time. I am a planner and require bucket loads of time on most occasions to produce something I am proud of.  Therefore, I appreciate these practicals as in the real world we do not have an unlimited amount of time.  It also forces you to argue against what you may naturally agree or be inclined to go for.

3:30-4:30pm: Each group presents their side and the class votes on the debate that persuaded them the most via mentimeter.  It's intriguing to see the individual's train of thought and arguments for or against specific interventions.

4:30-5:00pm: Walking home now.  The sun is setting much earlier nowadays so I tend to linger around less on campus as I'm generally quite uncomfortable walking home alone during winter.  Occasionally, my mother will ask for me to run to Sainsburys to pick up some necessities: milk, bread, and I slip in something sweet like chocolate.

I'm going to end the post here as my nightly routine has not altered from Tuesday to now!  I hope you guys are enjoying this little series as much as I enjoy writing it. 


You read that right. I'm going there.  This is a topic that shouldn't be considered taboo as nearly half the population go through this, that too, once a month for years on end.  I figured I would share my story and a few tips as I was quite a lost-cause during the first few months.  I didn't understand its purpose, how to manage it, proper hygiene, the difference between tampons and pads, etc.  Questions were brewing like coffee for ages until I took the initiative to carry out trial and error and my own research.  On top of that, I was just extremely shy to talk about this topic even though it is far more normal than society makes it out to be.  Thus, if this post can help just one person then it's worth more than anything.


In the 5th grade we had a one-off talk regarding this whole new world called 'puberty'.  Naively, I was convinced that this was would never happen to me.  It seemed surreal.  Continuous bleeding for 5-7 days once a month?!  This had to be some kind of sick joke.  Who has time for this? I came home and forgot the whole entire lesson until it all came flooding back (literally) the summer before I started middle school (7th grade).

I was only 12 years old.  I remember getting the odd stomach ache here and there but ignored it completely.  These were pre-menustrual cramps.  One morning I woke up, went to the bathroom, and there it was.  It was like drops of red food colouring in a glass of water.  The stupidest thoughts were going through my head:

'Oh no how do I tell my parents? This is so embarrassing!

'I'm not ready to be a woman yet.  I don't want to enter adulthood!'

'No no, I can't tell them.  If I don't tell them, it never happened. Maybe scientists will find a cure for this soon anyways.'

'If I do a headstand it will go away, right?'

Headstands don't work (I tried) and the closest thing we have to a 'cure' is the contraceptive pill.  I don't know why I was so terrified. After a few minutes of contemplating life, I decided to tell them.  It was like they knew.  I came out of the toilet with tears streaming down my face and whimpered, 'Amma...'.  My mom looked surprised and came running and hugged me.  My dad was applauding in the background.  I was sat in the bathroom sobbing, 'Why is this a celebration? This is worst thing ever.' 

Most individuals who enter womanhood are not this dramatic about the situation.  Nevertheless, here is the thing about my parents.  They felt the need to call everyone and let them know of this new milestone I've crossed.  I'm already in a bad mood, my stomach hurts, and I'm intensely craving chocolate.  Right now is not the time for endless phone calls about successful ovulation.  I just want food and bed.  Not to add, seeing a huge pad for the first time and realising you're basically wearing diaper is highly saddening.

Note: I am not an Ob/Gyn or physician.  I am simply writing from my personal experience about what helped me.  Take whatever I say with a pinch of salt and make sure to consult your doctor or someone you trust like an older sibling or mother about anything listed. 

  • Irregular periods.  I wish I did this early on, but I highly recommend keeping a period journal to make sure nothing out of the ordinary takes place.  At the start, it is not abnormal for your period to be irregular.  For the first two months, my period lasted nearly 14-18 days.  Over two weeks!  Furthermore, you may find your flow to be very light or heavy at the beginning and then change over time.  Mine began as quite heavy and has lightened over the past 8 years to a medium/light flow.
  • Feed your cravings.  It's okay to binge a little.  Keep it balanced and space out your cravings but do not restrict and limit yourself.  Do be aware if you are eating too unhealthy because that will catch up to you later on.  
  • You may find yourself gaining more weight.  Prior to my period, I was stick thin.  I looked like I could snap in the wind.  My activity levels didn't change pre- and post-puberty.  After getting my period, I found myself filling up.  Do not be alarmed.  It's completely normal and everyone goes through it.  Let your body do what it needs to but make sure to stay on top of your weight gain and keep it in a healthy range by staying active.  
  • Find what works best for you.  Pads or tampons may suit you better depending on your lifestyle.  I prefer pads as you can use them overnight and they generally do not cause toxic shock syndrome.  However, tampons do provide more free movement and generally cannot be felt.  If you're someone that has a very active lifestyle then tampons may be your way to go in the mornings but be sure to change them according to what is advised on the package and get tampons that correlate with your personal flow.  If you do use a tampon, they can sometimes leak so having a panty-liner would prevent any unnecessary staining.  Remember, everyone has to use pads overnight.
  • Don't compromise on activities due to your period.  Perhaps you wanted to wear that gorgeous pair of white jeans or go to a dance party.  You still can! I've never struggled with bleeding through pants when wearing a pad.  If you shy away from tampons, use a maxi night pad for the day and you're sure to be leak free.  Enjoy life! 
  • Wash down there.  Oh yes.  Many people are doing to advise you to use fancy soaps and feminine products but really all you should use is warm water.  Anything else could cause an imbalance of your microflora which can lead to adverse effects.  Do NOT wash inside of your vagina unless consulted by a doctor. 
  • Change your pad or tampon regularly.  If you want to feel fresh during this time of the month, make sure to change your pad or tampon as frequently as possible.  Follow the advice on the packet which indicate absorbencies and lasting hours.  I personally change my pad around 3-4 times a day.  
  • Showers. Whilst showering, be sure to wash your 'down below' region well with warm water.  In addition, you may find yourself sweating more during this time of the month so it's okay to reach for that luxurious body wash.  I find myself taking two showers sometimes at an attempt to feel fresh.
  • Wipes.  If you want to feel extra hygienic, consider using baby wipes (unscented) just around the area but NOT inside.  This will leave you feeling a lot cleaner and it's a little thing which you can do to 'treat yourself' for lack of a better phrase.  
  • Pain. Some people have been blessed to feel absolutely nothing whilst others feel the weight of an elephant sat on their torso.  It's extremely subjective.  I start getting cold sweats and intense discomfort with sharp pains.  What helps me are painkillers, hot drinks, and a nice meal.  Always keep painkillers on you if you are allowed to especially if your cycle is due.   
  • Exercise.  This is very relative to your threshold of pain.  I personally can withstand light cardio, walks, and a bit of strength training or toning.  It's good to always remain active to some degree but I understand its very easy (and beneficial) to wrap up in bed with chocolate and youtube.  Do not let your whole week be this 'relaxed' but for the first couple of days do take it easy on your body.  Rest is all you need to feel rejuvenated. 

In essence, I hope this post helped someone out there that may be wondering about the ins-and-outs of period life.  At the end of the day, you are blessed to be able to endure this as it means your ovaries are functioning properly which is a sign of good health.  You do eventually get use to it or simply accept this part of life and it's not all bad.  

Review | Chloe Drew Bag Dupe (£1,190 vs £24)

Every fashionista has the infamous Chloe Drew Bag.  This comes to no surprise: the unique saddle shape and subtle gold hardware makes it extremely eye-catching.  I've sought after this handbag since the day it came out but the 4 figure price tag has caused me to lean away. At the end of the day, I am only a student and cannot justify that kind of expenditure on an accessory.  Nevertheless, the stylist yet preppy silhouette of this purse hasn't stopped me from exploring the internet for some lucky discounted finds.  After literally months of searching, I've found the most ideal dupe.  I withheld for sometime as I had invested in a gorgeous baby pink Ted Baker bag about a year ago which is my all time favourite.  Thus, although only 24 pounds, I didn't think I should purchase another accessory for a while.  However, one day I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had gotten the SheIn Saddle Bag (Chloe Drew Bag dupe) as an early Christmas present from my close friend Tim and couldn't wait to post my thoughts on my blog here for you all to read!

1) Appearance

The material of the bag is poly synthetic leather (PU).  It is made to look and feel like genuine leather but it tends to wear quicker and is more malleable. It has the same speckled texture as the original Chloe Drew Bag to add dimension and look less flat.  Many people claim the bag feels very cheap and 'horrendous' to quote but to me it feels completely normal.  It is almost comparable to bags you can find on the high street such as H and M, Forever 21, and River Island to name a few.

The centre gold hardware clasp is evidently crooked which is a fault you wouldn't see in the original.  Personally for said reason, if I had known this and seen the bag in person, I would argue that 24 is quite steep due to such an evident flaw.  This is the main and biggest negative point.  It's quite agitating but near to impossible to assume via the website's pictures which look immaculate.  It is the only thing that would prevent me from buying the bag had I seen this in person.

On the note of the gold hardware, it is a matte finish which personally does not appeal to me in comparison to the shiny finish of the Chloe Drew Bag.  I am looking into going over it with shine polish to give the bag more oomph.  In addition, I didn't like how many individuals advise tying the chain around the handle.  I felt this seemed too make-shift so instead I stuck the ends of the chain inside the bag's handle as seen which is tight enough and remains sturdy.  In addition, there are signs of uneven screwing during the manufacturing on the inside of the bag on the clasp.  This is very minor as it is undetectable when the bag is closed.

The color is as depicted above.  It is the perfect nude baby pink with warm undertones which allows it to work well with a spectrum of shades and colors.  I adore the color very much which was one of the reasons I kept awing and ooh-ing at the handbag.

The stitching is thicker and more predominant compared to the Chloe Drew Bag but it is clean with no loose strings.

2) Functionality 

The size is arguably quite small.  The dimensions given are:
  • Length: 7.5 inches
  • Width: 3.1 inches 
  • Height: 7.1 inches
  • Strap Length: 47.2 inches. 
The original small Chloe Drew Bag dimensions: 
  • Width: 3.1 inches
  • Height: 8.3 inches
  • Length: 9.3 inches
  • Strap Length: 39.4 inches

Evidently, to no surprise, the volume of the Chloe Drew Bag in Small is greater than the SheIn dupe.  The SheIn dupe works well for casual everyday if you plan on just carrying the essentials (phone, lipgloss, hand cream, keys) but has no room for a huge wallet or an excessive amount of makeup or goods.  Therefore, it is good for running quick errands and packing light. I do not feel the size is something that is too difficult to work around. There is a small pouch present at the back of the handbag on the interior where one can put spare cash or cards.  

When I use the bag, the small clasp at the front tends to fall out quite easily and quickly whilst walking.  Therefore, it is highly sensitive to movement.  I am unsure of this is the same with the original Chloe Drew Bag but as I find that quite frustrating I tend to leave the clasp vertical rather than horizontal.  This still keeps the bag closed if you fear it opening unnecessarily.  It is still very secure.  You do lose the horizontal aesthetic but as it kept falling out it was more irritating than it was fashionable.  

Overall rating
Appearance: 8/10
Functionality: 6/10 
Overall: 7/10 

I would highly recommend you purchasing this bag whether it be for yourself or another person because at the end of the day it is a fair duplicate if you cannot afford spending over one grand on an accessory.  It is a stunning bag I imagine myself getting a lot of use from.  If you are stumped on what to get your friends or family for a Christmas present and know they are into fashion then this could be a lovely gift (especially younger girls that are still in school - you don't need to flaunt designer bags in your teens!).  

Christmas Gifts for a Girly-girl Under £100!

Christmas is nearly here!  If you're a last minute gift-giver like myself, well you're lucky that I have a few sweet quick finds for that special person in your life.  Whether it be a sister, lover, best friend, or mother, these gifts are sure to be appreciated by the women in your life.  

1. Pandora Rings

I have been very blessed with a special person that doesn't fail to buy me gorgeous rose gold rings (of course) which compliment my aesthetic.  This is perfect for that girly-girl in your life that loves sweet and simple jewellery.  I've never been one to be too big on flashy ornamental pieces but these rings are too stunning.  These are the three rings which I own and wear every single day: 

2. SheIn Saddle Handbag with Chain (a.k.a Chloe Drew Bag Dupe)

One of my very close friends got me this as an early Christmas present which I absolutely adore as someone who has been drooling over the Chloe Drew Bag since its first release.  Obviously a price tag of four figures is something absurd to spend on when I'm only a student and have no where fancy to go except for university.  Therefore, this is the perfect bag for the fashionista in your life that may be a little bit younger or in her teens with no need to flaunt designer labels.  The color pink is perfect for many outfits but there is a variety to choose from. 

3. Yankee Candles

These burn till eternity.  There is a range of scents that you can purchase to fill your room with any aroma.  This candle which was gifted to me by another bestie of mine whom is basically my sister is the Yankee Candle in True Rose.  I have always been a candle and incense stick person so this is a mighty fine present.  I feel like air fresheners seem too artificial and strong; fading after minutes.  Floral scents have always been my favorite, especially roses and jasmines.  This this is right up my alley without a hefty price tag. 

4. ELF Rose Gold Matte Lip Vault 

Okay, this is more something I personally would like but I can't deny how much I love this product. I have about 5 of the ELF Matte Lip colors and love them all.  They're highly pigmented, long lasting, and creamy upon application.  If you're on a budget and want to try good quality lip colors these matte lip colors are your perfect and best bet.  For the price, having 10 matte lip colors in the stunning rose gold packaging makes this product aesthetically pleasing and worth every penny! What's even better, every shade would flatter a deeper skin tone so its perfect for everyone. 

5. Ted Baker

Ted Baker is a luxurious designer brand without the hefty label.  Their products, for sure are high end, but do not necessarily break the bank in comparison to most other designer labels.  It is rare to find something extortionately priced.  The brand as a whole takes time and effort into their aesthetic making their products pleasing to the eye and functional to the consumer for use.  This is a major reason why they are one of my absolute favorite brands of all time.  I have compiled a few products on their website which are simple, won't break the bank, but are very sweet staples to gift her. 

6. Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfume 50mL Gift Set

I have tried many perfumes in my lifetime because my dad is an avid perfume addict.  He isn't afraid to purchase random perfumes in hopes that I would fall in love with some.  Miss Dior is a perfume that has been my number one since it was called Miss Dior Cherie during its early release dates.  It's a romantic scent with topnotes of mandarin and roses, providing that floral scent and basenote of vanilla and amber for a sweeter aroma.  This gift set comes in such a gorgeous packaging that I am sure that any girl unwrapping this will be more than delighted!

Tag | Getting Deeper

Tags are the easiest way for you guys to get to know me outside of my lifestyle posts. I've always been one to love answering deep questions and felt this tag was particularly fitting.

Where does your joy come from?

I find joy in many places or situations. Primarily it comes from happy memories, spending time with loved ones, and in my studies because I absolutely love what I am learning and the opportunities that are presented in front of me. My degree has enabled me to work with amazing charities such as Untapped Shores and benefit amazing causes. It has provided me with insight in the working world of health on a global and public scale which I've never thoroughly discovered before. I look forward to each day with the wealth of knowledge I have access to. Prior to this, I never had the same urge and excitement to go to university or college as I do now which allows me to confirm that I am in the right place.

Undoubtably, I gain an immense amount of joy from my blog and writing which is the main reason I pursue it. It facilitates me to unleash my creativity which isn't reflected in academia. Working with makeup, fashion, clothes, or sharing my experiences and advice to help better individuals is nothing less than exciting and enjoyable. I love working with colors and styling as well as discovering new things to help make life that much more worth living. I always want to seem like the girl-next-door rather than someone with a perfectly made up life. I have a lot to be grateful for without a doubt but ultimately I am just your average girl doing what you do just with a blog to document her memories.

How do you feel most loved?

It varies between people. Through my mother I feel the most without any doubt via her sacrifice, grace, and efforts to keep me happy over her own self. The selflessness in her care is something I admire. In addition, I feel the most loved through my best friends who listen and understand me, remembering the small minute details of my life, and their mindfulness of my being. They are very accepting of me as a person and I feel the most loved when I do not have to fear for judgement when going to them with whatever matters are brewing in my head. Furthermore, having those same people come to me with trust, honesty, and belief that I will provide and be their rock to the best of my ability makes me feel very loved indeed.

What is something that you have overcome?

People can be a lesson, experience, or blessing. Like all of us, we have experienced some sort of mental or physical set back due to the presence of specific individuals. It is not up to us to blame others for our shortcomings but it is a fact that humans can be one of the greatest obstacles one has to face. We can spend hours trying to mould to their likes and dislikes but at the end of the day you end up losing yourself in the process. No party will be satisfied. It took a lot of strength for me to realise that there are many people that are not worth changing for unless there is true error in your ways of thinking. Overall, not everyone will be pleased and needs pleasing.

What is one of your biggest struggles/weaknesses?

Confidence. This is all encompassing: in my work, mentality, and appearance. I put a lot of mental pressure on myself to put forth my best effort and find I am subconsciously comparing myself to others in whatever aspect. It's a terrible habit but I am trying to be more accepting of my true self whether it be regarded as 'childish' or 'immature'. It's a very big struggle to accept yourself in a society where it is almost deemed sinful. Nevertheless, I am actively trying to exercise confidence for a better me.

What legacy do you want to leave?

There are two main legacies I want to leave where one is to encourage young minds to embrace themselves for who they are and treat themselves with kindness and love. In addition, I wish to make surplus amount of impact in the world of Global health by granting those less privileged with opportunities I was gifted with from a young age. I hope to be an individual known as one who wanted to make a change and succeeded.

Routine | DRUGSTORE Skin Care

Your skin is what everyone will see first and foremost so taking care of this area is extremely vital.  The biggest fault in my skincare routine which is the source of all my zits is lack of water consumption.  Therefore, I decided to download this really adorable water app called Plant Nanny where, the more you drink, the less thirsty your plant is (which looks so cute, it would be sinful to make him/her upset).  However, despite this, I have been lucky enough to have pretty good skin in other terms because the products I use really work.  And they're drugstore!  I don't think we need a luxurious price tag on a product to determine it's ability.

NOTE!  With any face product, do make sure to do a skin or patch test to ensure there is no allergic or adverse reaction.

1. Clean and Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash £2.09

This face wash works to give you a refreshing deep clean without being too abrasive.  I love using it before going to bed as a part of my nightly routine to enable a nice clean. It works to remove a majority of makeup or cleanse my skin alongside prepping it for a facial mask if I am in the mood. In the morning, I prefer to just wash my face with plain cold water but sometimes I do indeed reach for this if I'm looking visibly dull or grim. 

2. Nivea Soft Cream - £2.45

This is the moisturiser I cannot stop talking about.  I have three: one in my bathroom, one in my bedroom, and one in my backpack.  Although I do own higher-end products (most are sample size), this cream cannot be replaced for me.  It is trustworthy and amazing.

3. B. Pure Micellar Water £2.19

Although using coconut or almond oil is my main go-to for makeup removal, my mother prefers to use this which I do indeed reach for when I don't have oil at hand.  This is wonderful for lifting the makeup right off of your face.  I love this and do not feel there is a difference between the B.Pure by Superdrug and the Garnier Micellar water.  After removing the makeup, I do like to pair it with a quick face wash to ensure any residual product is wiped away.

4. Johnson and Johnson Baby Oil - £1.15

This may be a bit surprising.  I can struggle with dry patches of skin around my jaw and on my cheeks which are terribly bothersome.  Makeup tends to adhere to these areas and I need twice as much moisturiser to ensure they don't randomly appear throughout the day.  However, over the last few months I found my dry patches to tremendously decrease post-shower and moisturising.  One of the ways I tackled this is by giving myself an oil mask before I sleep.  Take some of the baby oil and pat it onto your face evenly and wash it off in the morning.  All the moisture will be trapped on your face with this thick layer giving you soft and supple skin.  It's also a magnificent canvas for makeup because personally, everything applies a lot more evenly and smoothly.  I'll do this about twice a week but you can do this every night if you please!  You can also replace the Baby oil with almond or coconut oil if you wish.

A week in the life of a Global Health Student | Day 2

Welcome to day 2!  Today we are going to be endeavouring the depts of epidemiology.  As you are all aware of when I wakeup and do my daily deeds, I've decided to start this post from 9:30am when classes begin.

9:30am-10:30am: Tutorial!  For the subjects we have an exam in, reading and homework is most prevalent.  The homework is usually data analysis based on a research paper's results and study design.  The groups are about 10-15 in size which enable ease in communication with the tutor and with your peers. At the break, I pour myself a cup of coffee because I can't function without consuming hot drinks.

10:45am-12:00pm: Today we learnt about different confounding and colliding factors that can affect the accuracy of a study.  Basically, if you want to conduct any sort of intervention, study, or experiment, there are a million and one things to consider when trying to explain your results and reduce bias.  I initially believed the Epidemiology module would encompass disease outbreaks and management but I was mistaken.  It had an interesting focus on study designs and calculations which deems very useful and insightful, though sometimes can seem more bland and passive compared to my other modules.  This is something to note if you intend to do a Public Health Masters and go into Epidemiology afterwards.  It will be a difficult transit.

12:00-1:30pm: Best part about Tuesdays? An hour and a half for lunch! I have half n hour to scoff down my mom's cooking before I attend the Student Seminars that I and one other colleague run every Tuesday.  I highly recommend getting involved in student-centric activities such as being a course representative, working on the advisory team, or even in other clubs or activities.  It is a fantastic way to get to know new people outside and within your course.  Having a student role really helped increase my confidence and organisation skills (as corny as it is) and I've formed bonds I didn't think I would initially make.

1:30pm-3:00pm: Last leg of the day!  This topic was building on what we learnt earlier in the morning with more examples and case studies to put everything in perspective.  I love how this course does indeed have an even split between theory and practice.  It is vital to get a grasp of all the concepts whilst also being able to apply your new found knowledge.

3:30pm-5:00pm: I'm home and greeted to a fresh cup of coffee.  Like before, I spend quite some time relaxing before I start work up again.  I utilise these moments to work on my blog, catch up on youtube videos, or read.

5:00pm-6:30pm: As one homework is completed, another one is assigned.  I am now working on the epidemiology homework given for the day as the concepts are fresh in my head.  In addition, I handwrite all my epidemiology notes into one single notebook which takes about 2 hours to complete per lecture.  Before dinner, I prefer to start on writing these out as it is a time consuming process but I thank myself later for sticking to it.

6:30-7:30pm: Dinner is served.  I love to eat with my mom as I've said before with comedy shows running in the background.  It's hard to make time for loved ones I find when you have such a set scheduled life but it's important to learn to adjust and make it work.  We all need to relax and take time out to breathe.  Breaks are extremely critical to enable your brain to consolidate the information you have learnt and rejuvenate.  It further improves your efficiency and productivity when you do allocate time for studying.

7:30pm-9:00pm: Back to work.  By 9pm, my epidemiology notes and homework would be done and dusted.  It takes quite some time but perhaps I will do a detailed blogpost in how I take and make notes in the near future.

9:00-10:00pm: Honesty is the best policy right?  Sitting down for 6+ hours a day causes one to become quite antsy.  Therefore, I like to just listen to music and dance my heart out in front of the mirror.  Dancing has been a hobby of mine since I could walk and I would regret if I ever lost touch in this skill.  It's also fantastic cardio if you don't have any exercise equipment at home or a gym in the vicinity.  I may slip in some minor and quick circuits during my little dancing sessions.  It's proven to be a great way to shed any anxiety and ill-thoughts or feelings for me personally.

10:00-10:30pm:  After all of that, I tend to break a sweat so a shower is in order.

10:30-11:30pm: Come your masters,  it starts to look very coursework heavy.  I have an important Public Health piece due next term but the topics were released back in October to give plenty of time to delve into your chosen interests.  These piece requires an understanding of frameworks in Public Health of a specific country of choice, and innovation in creating a specific intervention to tackle a global problem.  You need to think beyond the research papers as it is more than just a summary of information gathered.  It is a very different way of thinking as my undergraduate degree was focused more on rote-learning in terms of essays and examinations.  One of my big tips here is to remember that, just because it is coursework does not mean it would be easier than an examination.  You need to make sure you plan as much as possible to reach the top band marks.  We are given little guidance unless requested and tutors are not allowed to sit and discuss in immense detail your writing style or idea but rather give a general opinion or overview in their thoughts about your work.  I am not sure if this is the case at other masters' programmes but certainly on mine there is an emphasis on independent working.

11:30-12:00am:  At this point I will be lying in bed just scrolling on my phone until I fall asleep, playing games, or reading a book before I start another beautiful day.  I have the luxury to sleep late on a Tuesday as Wednesday's are either free or cluttered with optional classes that do not begin until 10/10:30am anyways.

Favorites | November 2017

Another month, another favourites post.   This was a difficult post to make because I've been leaning towards embracing my natural skin and hair.  I've not bought any new beauty goodies for a while. Therefore, I've been using products quite sparingly.  Luckily, the end of December calls for a whole yearly round-up post which I cannot wait to do!  For now, it's time for November's favourites.

1. Pixi Lip Lift Max in Sheer Rose £12.00

Okaaaay.  I know I said I'm letting go of makeup but lip gloss is different.  First off, this doesn't seem plumping or lifting in any sense or form even though it does tingle.  This lip gloss is light and like all glosses, gives the impression of hydration and glow.  The color is perfect for those who want to achieve a nude lip and have slightly darker skin.

This is a glorious dry shampoo which smells absolutely delightful.   I spray it at the roots of my head and massage it in with a towel which I find to be more effective than my fingers on some accounts.  It works to revitalise my roots; removing greasy odours and textures.  This is arguably expensive but it does indeed get the job done.  It's perfect for someone like myself who can be quite lazy with washing their hair during the week.  

How could I not mention this?  I switch between my Marc Jacobs' mascara and my Rimmel London one which is slightly shabbier considering it is getting quite old.  I absolutely LOVE this mascara: it's not spidery and volumises with minimal clumping.  It is a luxury beauty product considering its price range but if possible to grab hold of a sample size I highly recommend giving it a go.  Samples tend to last at least a month anyhow with regards to mascara. 

4. Coconut Shower Cream by The Body Shop - £5.00

I don't know what it is about the term 'shower cream' which just works to sound luxurious and make me hungry.  I've used every last drop of this body wash this month.  Believe it or not, it has lasted about 2 months given that it richly lathers.  A little goes a long way.  If you are hesitant on spending more than a couple pound coins on a body wash, I completely understand.  However, I was pleasantly surprised regarding its longevity.  The product leaves a lingering coconut scent post-use that isn't too overwhelming.  Nevertheless, as it is distinctively coconut, if you are not pleased by this aroma, I suggest avoiding it and trying their other scented shower creams/gels because they do make showering much more enjoyable.  

Top 5 Under £5 | Vol. 2

I really love doing these posts because as an unemployed student, I cannot afford to purchase high-end make up.  I wish I can rummage through my Chanel and Giorgio Armani products but I am very pleased with having my drugstore pieces for everyday use.  As we all know, the drugstore are upping their game without a doubt so you do not need to splash the cash.

1. Rimmel London Good to Glow Highlighter in Notting Hill Glow £4.99

This is a beautiful highlight to mix into your foundation for a dewy finish.  In my 'Everyday Glow Makeup Look' I mentioned this product as a great substitution or upgrade from the ELF highlighter I am currently working through.  You only require one drop into your full-face foundation volume to get a healthy radiant appearance.  It can double up as a cheek highlight and blends like a pro without appearing patchy and harsh.  I highlight recommend checking out this range of highlighters if you want something to mix in your foundation or slightly more intense than a powder. 

2. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water in 400mL £4.99

To take off a full face of makeup, I prefer to reach for my Almond Oil or Coconut Oil instead of a makeup remover as the price tag is far greater than it should be.  Nevertheless, 400mL for this incredible remover for less than a fiver is an exception I am willing to make.  The Micellar water was sweeping the shelves as a fantastic makeup remover that is not drying, uncomfortable, and does indeed do the job successfully. I find that 400mL is more than enough for 3/4s of the year if you use makeup everyday.  I do a full face maybe once a month if that so this product is basically immortal.  Therefore, you get way more bang for your buck.  

3. Seventeen Supreme Shine Lipstick in Rich £4.99

One of the main reasons I love this lipstick line by Seventeen is because the colors are perfect for those with deeper skin tones.  It looks amazing against darker skin tones without being deep purples or dark reds.  These lipsticks are perfect for school, university, or everyday because it as a glossy and buildable coverage rather than being extremely opaque.  On my pigmented lips, I find it enhances its natural color rather than hide it.  The shade 'Rich' is a perfect match for me when I want to emphasise and embrace my natural appearance. 

4. MUA Eyeshadow Palette in Undressed and Undress me Too £4.00 each

These eyeshadow palettes are as cheap as chips!  Not only is the price so ideal, it works great for starters as well as those who are experienced in makeup.  I absolutely love these palettes and they are my go-to for formal occasions as well as a subtle everyday look.  The swatches are pigmented though slightly on the powdery side due to the obvious presence of talcum powder.   With a decent primer, you can create a diverse range of neutral looks.  Plus, they've been said to be an amazing dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 1 and Naked 2 palette.  Would you rather spend 30 or 4 pounds? Hmm...

5. Boots 3 in 1 Blending Sponge £3.60 

Sponges by far excel any face brush for foundation, bb creams, or tinted moisturisers.  This sponge enables even application of the product on the face without caking or clumping.  Dampening of the sponge prior also further aids in having a healthy glow.  I do not think you need to spend an extortionate amount of money for a beauty sponge.  This one works tremendously but my favourite of all time is indeed the Real Techniques Sponge which is slightly more than 5 pounds therefore I couldn't include it in this post (though I am slyly slipping it in now).  This product also has a tapered end which is wonderful for blending out near the tear duct or nose region.  The sponge is easy to clean but like most sponges, they tend to stain which is never favourable so repurchasing after a few months would be necessary.  

Interview | Niraj Chag

Back in 2007, I discovered one of my favourite musician/composers at home, whom has quickly become my grandparents' and parents' go-to music.  Come ten years later, can you succumb how surreal it feels to be granted the opportunity to interview an individual you have looked up to, that has not only produced incredible work but inspired you in the arts such as the realm of dance and performance? I can't.  This is such a blessing.

Niraj Chag is a London based composer and musician, despite having been born in Southhampton.  What attracted me most to his work was the fusion of classical and modern beats.  Initially working with Outcaste Record Label, he has created his own named Buzz-erk Label.  His three self produced albums are: Along the Dusty Road (2006, and also my personal favourite), The Lost Souls (2009), and Mud Doll (2015).  Not only that, he has composed music for the West End musical Wah! Wah! Girls and Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing at the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Therefore, Niraj Chag is reaching a global audience through film scores, threatre, live performances, and albums just to name a few. It's pretty safe to say he's incredible at what he does.

What motivated you to go into making music?
From an early age I was always fascinated by two things: Music and technology. This fascination inspired me to learn about music technology so I was able to fuse my two areas of interest into one.

What inspires your pieces?
Inspiration can come from all sorts of places. Recently Meditation has been a big inspiration for me. I tend to meditate before I start work in the studio and this keeps me incredibly ‘sharp’ and alert.

What is your proudest moment?
Everyday for me has a moment of pride. To be doing what you love is a gift. Everyday I create something new and it nourishes my soul.

What are you looking forward to in the future?
My birthday is in a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to eating cake. I love cake!

What is something that you wish more people knew about you?
Im a neurotic introvert who washes his hands at least 40 times a day. If people knew this about me then perhaps they would understand me more.

Fun fact about you?
I own 47 pairs of trainers. Its not healthy - i know!

What advice would you give youngsters trying to achieve their dreams?
Do it for the love not for the money. People who do it for the money don’t ever last too long. Find your own unique voice within your art form and nurture it until you become the master of it. If it still doesn’t work - start again!

What is one lesson you learnt whilst pursuing your dreams?
That the most important skill in life is the ability to listen.

Follow Niraj Chag!

Instagram: Niraj Chag
Facebook: Niraj Chag
Youtube: Niraj Chag
iTunes: Apple Music
Sound Cloud: NirajChag


Untapped Shores

As a Global Health student, on a daily basis, we are exposed to traumatic, saddening, and heart-breaking scenarios on an international scale.  I've picked this course with one aim: make a change. When God has put you in a grandeur situation, it would be inhumane for us to take it for granted.  We should use resources given to equip those that are less fortunate.  It is near impossible to break the cycle of poverty without unity.

Did you have a glass of water today?  

Did you brush your teeth? 

Did you take a shower?

Did you use the toilet and wash your hands after?

According to the WHO and UNICEF's Joint Monitoring Programme, 844 million do not have access to clean water and 2.3 billion individuals do not have access to a decent toilet as of 2017.  This statistically demonstrates how blessed we are.  I have been granted the opportunity to be an Ambassador for Untapped Shores which is an international charity based in New York.  This organisation works to provide sanitised drinking water to those in poverty, currently focussing on providing clean water to 1,000,000 Ugandans this Giving Tuesday.  Ever dollar donated will be matched by the Gates Foundation.

As someone from the rural villages of India, I have personally seen the difficulties in fetching water from a pump, well, or water source.  The distance travelled by many in order to provide the family for a day is tremendous.  It takes immense will power, discipline, and determination.  However, clean water is a basic human right.  42% of healthcare facilities in Africa do not have access to purified water; resulting in a rise of mortality by infection in both adults and newborns who do not live to see their 1st birthday.

Untapped Shores has combined the use of technology and sustainability to create the Pure Shores which has the ability to sanitise water for 2,000 individuals per day via the use of chlorine bleach.  The best part? It is powered by the Sun and Ocean water (salt water).   This life saving device has been sent to 20 countries in 5 different continents, further emphasising the efficiency, durability, and efficacy of the Pure Shores. 

Now it's your turn.  It only costs $1 per life to save. From the comfort of your own home you can make a one time donation to help this device reach thousands of more individuals.  Not only are you saving those already living but you will be giving newborns a chance to experience the beauty of life.  Lack of water results in lack of well-being.  This in turn can  cause mental and physical stresses such as wasting, inadequate toilets, increased risk of infection, water-borne diseases, lack of an education, and diarrhoea diseases just to name a few.

One child dies every two minutes due to lack of access to clean, purified, and sanitary water.  Donate now to save a life.

Visit the Untapped Shores website here to learn more of their missions, causes, and the science behind the Pure Shores.

Follow Untapped Shores:

Instagram: @UntappedShores
Twitter: @UntappedShores
Facebook: Untapped Shores

A week in the life of a Global Health Student | Day 1

I couldn't think of a punchier title.  Sorry guys.

I get quite few DMs and/or emails asking me about career plans, my masters' programme, and what I do when I'm not blogging or testing out lipsticks.  Without a doubt, I've always loved expressing my creativity through fashion, makeup, and health.  Behind the screen, however, I'm an ordinary student, slaying away in procrastination when I should be studying.

Public health is a very niche degree that integrates policy, economics, socio-demography, medicine, and disease.  It involves working on a wide-spread and global scale, rather than one-to-one patient treatment.  You're aiming to improve the health of a population.

During my application process, descriptions of courses and modules on university websites appeared vague and didn't paint an accurate picture of what is taught.  What further influenced my decision to go into Public Health were first-hand experiences and talking to individuals in the field.  As a result, I was inspired to make this five part series walking you through what I learn/do on a daily basis as a Global Health student in hopes to provide inspiration or insight.


7:30am: The beautiful sound of a blaring alarm greets me to a new day.  I wish to be more of a morning person but I most certainly am not.  I toss and turn for a good 20 minutes (whilstscrolling through all my social media platforms) prior to actually pulling myself out of bed. 

8:00am: After brushing my teeth, I sit down on the sofa with a yogurt and granola breakfast and a cup of coffee.  Currently, I'm nose-deep in Michael Marmot's book entitled The Health Gap.  This book is on the compulsory reading list for most Public Health courses as it highlights the issue of unequal distribution of health care in a population.  Regardless of if you're in the healthcare industry or not, I believe this is a book that everyone should read as it relates to everyone on an individual level.

8:30am: I try to leave the house 30 minutes before my first class to ensure I get there on time as we randomly get spot checked for attendance.  If I am 1 minute late, you're usually marked absent for the day.  This plays an important role later on where your degree classification could be influenced by your attendance rate.  On a positive note, I absolutely adore a morning walk in London.  Going on walks has been one of my favourite pass times.  It takes about 10-15 minutes to get to university depending on the route and weather.

9:00am-10:00am: Monday mornings are dedicated to statistic tutorials.  If you wish to go into public health, be prepared for the amount of statistics you will need.  Despite having taken statistics up until AS Level and sparingly during my undergrad, there are still aspects I find confusing.  Thankfully, tutorials are great for discussing homework in small groups.  We will be given sample answers to all of the questions which act as great guidelines for upcoming exams.  Masters' classes tend to be very focused on tutorial and group work rather than rote learning lecture material. This is more fruitful considering it revolves around the application of knowledge and skills built.

10:30am-12:30pm: In my half n hour break I would've poured myself a coffee to sip on during lectures.  For statistics, I need to make sure my brain is extra focused.  Luckily, our slides are posted beforehand so I get a chance to read through them and get a feel for the topic. One of my pro tips was to treat lectures as revision rather than learning new material to improve understanding of specific concepts.  This week's topic was logistic regression.

12:30pm-1:30pm: Lunch time! I prefer to go to the library to catch up on homework, reading, or even my blog.  Most of my course mates head to the common room but it feels stuffy and crowded so the library is my home away from home.

1:30pm-3:30pm:  In this day and age, technology know-how is a must.  For my course, we learn STATA whereas those on the epidemiology stream will learn R.   I am self-teaching R because it would come handy for employment.  Our practicals consists of using datasets provided to us.  The main objective is to correctly use STATA coding language to interpret the dataset's results successfully; applying practical and theoretical knowledge of statistics and statistical software.  This may be slightly trickier than it sounds.  Initially, it requires a lot of trial and error.  Even if you are a novice, you begin to comprehend the inner workings of code after a couple of taught sessions.

3:30-4:30pm: At this point, my course mates and I would've finished the practical part of the session.  The teachers stick around for an extra hour in case we need any more assistance or wish to get a head start on the tutorial homework due in next Monday.  Depending on my plans for the evening, I prefer to get a majority of the work done in the hour before I head home as the knowledge, syntax of code, and theory, are fresh in my head.

5:00pm-6:00pm: Home sweet home! I usually unwind by doing blog work or simply getting lost in the abyss of youtube. I'm not in the mood to do anything productive.  At this point I'll upload my blogpost for Monday if I hadn't done so in the morning.

6:30pm-7:00pm: Dinner time! I like to just watch sitcoms with my mom whilst we enjoy dinner before I start some work for the evening.

7:30pm-9:00pm: Bit late to start work but I am a night person.  With midterms just around the corner, I use this time to write out notes for revision or re-listen to lectures on topics that were difficult.  In addition, I will finish up my statistics homework I began in class if feasible.  I can't stand having things hanging over my head.

9:00pm-10:00pm: I wish I could be one of those girls that lay out their workout clothes in the morning and start the day off with a run and yoga.  I'm totally not.  I wake up in the morning like the grinch until I have my coffee.  Thus, I workout at night.  I will follow my Nike Training App and my own glutes routine I've posted on my blog.

10:00pm-10:30pm:  Night time is my time.  I like to take a nice hot shower using my delicious smelling products.  I use this time to just treat myself for my daily efforts.  I know it's super cheesy but we should always make time to relax and make ourselves feel like a million bucks.

10:30pm-11:30pm: I like to squeeze in another hour of work before I sleep.  A vigorous workout and warm shower helps revitalise my productivity.  This may be working on an assignment, notes, or reading.  At the moment I am concentrating on notes with exam time coming up.

11:30pm-12:00am: I can't resist but read another chapter of The Health Gap or whatever other book I have on the go at the time.  I think its very important that we move away from using our devices before sleeping and recently have been trying to make a habit of reading instead of instagramming.  Don't get me wrong, for sure in between pages I will be double-tapping on my phone or texting.

12:00am: Sweet dreams! Off to sleep to wake up fresh for the next day.

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